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  1. #1
    pedro8686 is offline Junior Member
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    Default naming parts of the human body

    Hello.
    How should I say when I show parts of the body?
    E.g.
    -It's the back OR It's the face (because they are single parts of the body)
    and
    -It's an eye OR It's a finger OR It's a thumb (because they are double or more)

    Is that right?

    And while 'hair' is uncountable (when we show it on the body and we don't have only several hairs) we say "It's hair".
    But when we would show some particular hair, for example the Elvis Presley's hair we would say "It's the hair of Elvis Presley".

    Am I correct?


    Is the title of the post correct? I mean, should I write "human body", "a human body", "the human body" or all three are possible?

    I would be grateful for your answers.
    Cheers

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: naming parts of the human body

    1 Yes, you can use the articles in the way you say, but not in all contexts. We often use possessive adjectives and, to me, it would sound wrong to go to the doctor and say that I had hurt 'the neck'.

    2 Hair is usually uncoutable, but a strand of hair can also be called 'a hair.' With Elvis, 'the hair' implies to me that you have all of his hair, so I'd use some of or a lock of Elvis' hair.

    3 With naming, the definite article makes sense. The indefinite atrticle would work when the body is not identified (police found a body in the house).

  3. #3
    pedro8686 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: naming parts of the human body

    Thank you for the answer! I just would like to make sure if I got it correctly.


    A) So, when I show my hair to students I should say "It's hair", not "It's the hair". ??

    B) And if I show somebody's hair on a picture I should say the same, i.e. "It's hair". ??

    C) And when I show some particular hair of somebody on a picture, which I mentioned earlier, for example; then I should say "It's the hair of [somebody's name here]"
    (I don't mean here only several hairs but whole hair on the head)

    Am I right?


    3) What about no article with "human body"?
    Last edited by pedro8686; 01-Dec-2008 at 09:22.

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: naming parts of the human body

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro8686 View Post

    A) So, when I show my hair to students I should say "It's hair", not "It's the hair". ??
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro8686 View Post
    B) And if I show somebody's hair on a picture I should say the same, i.e. "It's hair". ??
    A person's hair is usually referred to as his hair or her hair.

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: naming parts of the human body

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro8686 View Post
    C) And when I show some particular hair of somebody on a picture, which I mentioned earlier, for example; then I should say "It's the hair of [somebody's name here]"
    Say:
    It's XYZ's hair.


    Quote Originally Posted by pedro8686 View Post
    3) What about no article with "human body"?
    Say:
    the human body (when speaking in general terms)

    a human body (when talking about a particuar case)

  6. #6
    pedro8686 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: naming parts of the human body

    Thanks a lot. It really have helped me :)

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